This is as idiomatic in English as in Italian, I think. In Italian, there are many phrases that use fare that don't specifically mean "to do" or "to make". http://italian.about.com/od/verbs/a/italian-verb-fare-proverbs-sayings.htm
And in this case, "play" doesn't necessarily have anything to do with games.
You are very lucky or have had a very sheltered life Harold if you have never come across this. It is quite common these days, possibly ever more common. Basically someone plays the victim when they aren't a victim at all in order to turn the tables/become the aggressor. Lots of examples but not an good idea to raise them here or the thread will get very heavy and the mods may have to intervene. I'd google it - you will find countless examples. Might be an idea to che k out passive aggressive at the same time.
Thank you for your thoughts. People who do this are pathetic, and it is a travesty of a very serious word to call them "victims". I do indeed know what it is like to be a victim, of bullying which ruined my life and my career, and nobody, but nobody, would play at being the victim that I was.
Sorry to hear about that Harold. Travesty it may well be but life teaches you that a fair few folk in life will adopt any role going, particularly ones politically popular/in the ascendant at any particular time. Human nature unfortuntately. There are also particular Italian examples but I can't go into those here. All the best, Happy Christmas.
Don't play victim (without the definite article) got rejected by DL. I am not a native speaker, so I googled it and got more than a quarter million results. True, they are only 30% of the results of a search including the article, but they are not negligible IMHO.
I would appreciate it if an English speaker could tell me if the sentence is correct or not.